BY STEVE DUNN
Have you ever felt like Calvin? Our lives have grown so complicated filling with so many things that we “must” be doing; that when we try doing something unnecessary, it is easily spoiled by a sense of guilt. Or worse, by the recriminations of those who consider our choices frivolous and self-indulgent. Some of us have lives so filled with responsibilities that we feel compelled to take our work with us on vacation. I know that at times I definitely resemble that last comment.
Solomon once wrote, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” He follows that with a wonderful list of examples. I often wish he had included “a time to work and a time to goof off.”
Actually, God Himself did say it. In the Creation account found in Genesis 1-2, we read: Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” – Genesis 2:1-2 NIV
Christians and Jews call that seventh day “Sabbath.” Before we became so compulsive about work (even working at our play), the seventh day was intended for rest. Mark Buchanan says that the test of activity on Sabbath is “Is it necessary?” If it is necessary, do it in the first six days. If it’s not necessary, then enjoy it … and don’t feel guilty about it.
Tim Hansel in his excellent book When I Relax I Feel Guilty suggests that we need to find a pace on those other six where we can even take “minute vacations” (short breaks) where the purpose is to do the “nothing” that refreshes us.
The nothing you want to do has a place in your life. If it does not then maybe you need to start simplifying your life. I know I’m working on it.
© 2018 by Stephen L. Dunn. You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to http://www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org